A Grand Forks mom and small business owner is grateful to a local non-profit she says brought her family closer to their surrounding community through reading and song.
Bethany Thate and her husband Tyler put their four kids through Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) programs which brought the kids to seniors’ homes and led them through special bake-offs with moms and dads.
Meanwhile, Thate said she’d taken math upgrades through CBAL which helped her run her city shop where she makes arts and crafts and teaches people how to make wooden signs.
“If it wasn’t for the upgrade, I wouldn’t be the business owner that I am today.”
“But without CBAL’s reading programs, I don’t think my kids and I would have made the connections we have in this community.”
The Thates recently had their daughters, four-year-old Jade and 18-month-old Maggie through CBAL’s Granny Goose program at the Boundary Lodge seniors’ centre.
“It was great for my girls and it was great way to check in with the seniors. Jade read stories at circle-time and then we all sang songs and ate snacks.”
Thate looked back fondly on a simpler time, before the pandemic, when the girls got to hand out flowers to seniors last fall.
Jade and Maggie later helped mom bake hearty meals at CBAL’s Alphabet Soup, where Thate explained kids read stories about fruits and vegetables parents then made into soups and muffins.
All her children are shaping up to be avid readers, Thate added.
“When I take my girls shopping, they’re definitely asking a lot more questions about words they see in the store.”
It was at CBAL’s Together to Learn that Thate was able to brush up on her fractions and decimals while staff read her kids stories.
“That was huge!” she exclaimed.
Thate said her boys, eight-year-old Willson (with two ‘l’s) and seven-year-old Sebastian had just as much fun with CBAL programs when they were younger, but the boys now insist they’re “too big for that stuff!”
Black Press is a proud annual sponsor of CBAL’s Reacher a Reader – Books for Kids fundraiser. This year’s campaign won’t feature community events due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The alliance will be raising money by selling Blue Sky socks at its offices and at participating businesses across southeastern B.C. CBAL is asking interested donors to visit the organization’s website at www.cbal.org.